We walked out of our cocoons on 9/12, individually and collectively, blinked against this harsh new light. The only thing left to do was the answer one short question, “What now?”
Like any hundreds and millions of other Wednesdays – full schedules of classes and meetings; appointments and grocery lists. The mundane decisions of what to wear and what to cook for dinner felt like questions asked for the first time, as if we could no longer move through the check boxes of our to do day, as if we could no longer trust gravity to work or the ground to be under our feet.
Now twelve years on, we still glue ourselves to the images of planes crashing, towers falling, of fires and chaos. Clinging to the word hero until it stops meaning anything. Stirring the darkest of our passions. Covering ourselves with a darkness of the ash. Of course and always, the harsh light will follow.
How do we analyze 9/12? I wish we had the fervor, the will, the passion to revisit that day too.
What each of us did, no longer what had been done to us, but how we responded to that trick question, “What now?”